A Farewell to Arms

by: Ernest Hemingway

Chapters XVIII–XXI

1

I went to bed and when they were all asleep and she was sure they would not call she came in. I loved to take her hair down and she sat on the bed and kept very still, except suddenly she would dip down to kiss me while I was doing it, and I would take out the pins and lay them on the sheet and it would be loose and I would watch her while she kept very still and then take out the last two pins and it would all come down and she would drop her head and we would both be inside of it, and it was the feeling of inside a tent or behind a falls.

2

We said to each other that we were married the first day she had come to the hospital and we counted months from our wedding day. I wanted to be really married but Catherine said that if we were they would send her away and if we merely started on the formalities they would watch her and would break us up. We would have to be married under Italian law and the formalities were terrible.

3

They would not let us go out together when I was off crutches because it was unseemly for a nurse to be seen unchaperoned with a patient who did not look as though he needed attendance, so we were not together much in the afternoons. . . . The hospital was quite busy too, and that kept her occupied. It was a hot summer and I knew many people in Milan but always was anxious to get back home to the hospital as soon as the afternoon was over.

4

I went on to the hospital. There were some letters, an official one, and some others. I was to have three weeks’ convalescent leave and then return to the front. I read it over carefully. Well, that was that. The convalescent leave started October fourth when the course was finished.

5

I’m going to have a baby, darling. It’s almost three months along. You’re not worried, are you? Please please don’t. You mustn’t worry. . . . Is it all right? . . . I did everything. I took everything but it didn’t make any difference. . . . I couldn’t help it, darling, and I haven’t worried about it. You mustn’t worry or feel badly. . . . People have babies all the time. Everybody has babies. It’s a natural thing. . . . I’ll try and not make trouble for you. I know I’ve made trouble for you. But haven’t I been a good girl until now? You never knew, did you? . . . It will all be like that.